Asthma and Cold Air
With the cold front that just hit North Texas it is important for those of you who have asthma or kids with asthma to be prepared. The hallmark of asthma is bronchial hyperresponsiveness or, in English, “twitchy lungs”. What this means is that certain exposures trigger bronchospasm of the muscle layer around the airways that leads to coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. The most common triggers for bronchospasm are cold air, allergens, exercise and viral respiratory infections. So how can you prepare for this? If you can’t avoid being outside in the cold air and you’re going to be exposed for a good while, consider taking 2 puffs of your Albuterol inhaler prior to going outside as a preventative. This is also a good idea if you’re planning to exercise in cold air as both can trigger asthma. In general, having your rescue inhaler with you during outdoor activities when it is cold is a good idea. The main idea is to know that cold air can be a trigger and to anticipate that you or your child may have issues so that you can be prepared to treat it if it happens and not be caught off guard.